Thursday, October 18, 2012

Running Toward Our Fear


Well,  if courage requires mental strength I might be in a bit of trouble.  I am easily overwhelmed these days and I have a lot of trouble maintaining focus.  Is it fear or hormones?

Today I'm linking up for the first time with a blog circle!  We're sharing images and thoughts about being brave.  I hope you'll take a few minutes to follow the link at the end of this post to see what some of my very talented and courageous blogging friends have shared.  If you follow the link provided by each of the twelve participants you will complete the circle and end up back where you started...right here!


"We gain strength, and courage, and confidence by each experience in which 
we really stop to look fear in the face." -Eleanor Roosevelt

Fear is a lot like a bully on the school playground, waiting for an opportunity to intimidate you.  The bully wants to block your path and steal your hope, creativity, and power.

One thing to remember about bullies, though: they are often full of hot air.


As an artist I fight fear all the time.  Sharing my art is like holding my heart out and saying, "Here it is, the most honest and vulnerable part of me.  What do you think?"  I would like to say that I don't ever worry how my efforts are received, but more often than not I feel a bit fragile and breathless, hoping for a positive response.  I find this is true with all kinds of expression.  It's true when I display my latest piece of jewelry or collage.  It was true when I used to sing in church.  It is true when I hit the publish button on this blog.

There is great power in confronting and conquering (or even running toward) our fear.  It can be exhilarating and is most definitely empowering.  Pursuing things that make your heart beat faster...things that bring tears to your eyes... is a little addictive once you get used to it.  Learn to disengage and step back from the fear.  Have a good look at it.  See how it shrivels when you stop giving it the power to dictate your thoughts and actions.

I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. 
The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear. 
Nelson Mandela

My family and I have had a bit of a rough year and along with weariness I notice that fear has crept in.  Sometimes I am afraid to begin something new because I'm afraid circumstances will change and everything will have to go on hold again.  Other times I'm afraid of what the future might hold for us all.  I realize as I write this post that I give fear more power when I walk in hopelessness and I know it's time to make some changes.  Daring to dream again...to dust yourself off and move forward with no guarantees is not for the faint of heart but I'm up for it.  How about you?


Now for some fun... take a few minutes and visit the next post in today's blog circle, by Sue Grilli.  Sue is a very gifted watercolor artist and she’s posted some great thoughts creative courage.  I hope you'll follow all of the links in our little blog circle.  There are some amazing stories and images posted today!





19 comments:

  1. A beautifully written and thought provoking post Janice. The part about holding your heart out is so familiar to me, I feel quite emotional just reading it.

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    1. Thanks, Judith. It has been a lot of fun looking at everyone's contributions to the blog circle today...so many different perspectives. I have really enjoyed it.

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  2. You don't know how much I needed to hear your words this morning. Being vunerable and honest is hard for me, and though I try, it seems to come out stilted and awkward because I overthink it and re-work it so much (really - I have already re-written this comment five times!) This has been bothering me recently. I'm afraid of truly putting myself out there. I'm not even sure who myself is exactly. I think I keep up the personna of who I think I should be. When it comes to art and writing, I'm afraid, plain and simple-of being rejected, or saying the wrong thing, or offending someone. Fear has a tight grip on me. Janice, your honesty has touched a cord deep inside me. I will try real, real hard. I'm so interested to follow your blog circle.

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    1. I have been EXACTLY where you are right now and believe me, it is worth the effort of learning to take a few risks. I know it is hard, but keep taking baby steps and someday you'll realize that you're in a whole new place! You have something unique and wonderful to give the world...we all do.

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  3. Janice, it's wonderful to meet you and to also have you be in the blog circle.

    You truly wrote from your heart about fear and practicing courage and running towards it. You are a true inspiration with how you have put it into words that resonated deeply for me. Conquering fears is something I would love to learn to master well. Maybe in this lifetime?

    Suzanne xo

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    1. As different as we all are we are also the same, aren't we?

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  4. Janice, this is such a beautiful, beautiful post.

    One of the things that really struck me was how both you AND Gail (who linked to you!) used Eleanor's quote in your posts. :)

    I love the idea of running *toward* fear instead of away. And it's ever so easy to let fear creep in, isn't it?

    I remember reading Neale Donald Walsch who says there are only two real feelings: fear and love. That blows me away. I hadn't forgotten about it, but your post just reminded me.

    Thank you for being brave + sharing!

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    1. I think Walsch was right about fear and love...and the two really can't exist in the same place at the same time, can they? Thank you for your kind words of encouragement.

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  5. I loved the quotes too - I'm honored to be in the blog circle with each and every one of these women - and I'm finding it interest that we are writing about very similar things, we have different takes on it. I loved the bully analogy - that makes such perfect sense when you think about it!

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    1. I thought the whole experience was really wonderful. I loved the posts and I also loved that we were all a part of this "circle"...this common effort to create something truly unique. Quite wonderful, really.

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  6. I love your journal page! I love the word strength, I have tried to add it into my life wherever I can in the last 10 years. It takes a while to seep in but slowly it does. I enjoyed hearing about your transformation of fear,the running and conquering the fear. Very well said.

    Go for it jump into change, be brave, follow your dreams listen to your heart,
    Chandra

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    1. Thanks, Chandra. You are such a great cheerleader. I love it! I'm so happy you're part of the blog circle group!

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  7. Janice, what a wonderful post! So well written and thought provoking. You really hit the nail on the head about how an artist feels about sharing their work and boy do we need courage! Thanks for sharing your thoughts and also for the kind intro to my blog!!

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    1. I love the phrase that you used in your post...CREATIVE COURAGE. May we all have a bit more of it everyday! It was an honor to link to your page!

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  9. Janice, it was fascinating to see how writing Bout courage helped you to see where you were stuck. I loved your artwork for this piece. Keep up the faith! You have much talent!

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    1. Thanks so much, Jean. I use writing a lot to get "unstuck". In fact, journaling really helps me learn a lot about myself. I loved participating in the blog circle. I'm already looking forward to nest month!

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  10. love your blog! Your journal page is great - thanks for sharing :)
    (from a fellow KRR flier)

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    1. Hi Robyn! I just popped over to your blog...loved your Christmas cards! You are so on top of things. I've been known to wrap a present or two late on Christmas Eve night. Thanks for stopping by!

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